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Scientists sequence genome of pathogen responsible for pneumocystis pneumonia
Date:12/25/2012

gs represent the reservoir of this pathogen," says Hauser. This is useful information, since it means that people are the only significant source of the organism and that both infected people and healthy carriers represent the only control points for limiting the spread of the disease.

The genome also shows that P. jirovecii apparently lacks the ability to make toxins and virulence factors, molecules that enable a microbe to invade and take advantage of its host. This makes sense, since P. jirovecii does not cause disease in healthy people, but only runs out of control when it is not confronted with an immune response.

In the study of infectious disease, access to the genome of a pathogen provides new information that can be pivotal in combating the diseases is causes. The hope is that the genome of P. jirovecii will lead to new advances in therapies for those suffering from Pneumocystis pneumonia. The current drugs of choice for treating Pneumocystis pneumonia are antifolates, but certain isolates of P. jirovecii have already developed resistance to antifolates, an ability that is very likely to spread. Now that the genome of P. jirovecii is assembled and available to researchers all over the world, scientists can tease out clues about the organism that will help identify targets for some badly needed new drugs.


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Contact: Garth Hogan
ghogan@asmusa.org
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

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